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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Trends for Recruiting Functions & Challenges

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: Trends for Recruiting Functions & Challenges

Hard to stay on top of the latest trends in recruiting? We've got you covered. This week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup features trends for recruiting functions and challenges for a myriad of sources. Enjoy!

1) Recruiting Isn’t Enough Anymore; Business Advising is the New Norm for Corporate Recruiters from ERE

"Most recruiting leaders have had coffee-shop or happy-hour conversations with each other about “having a seat at the table” or being a “more strategic partner” to the business. There is no doubt these clichés are played out (and there’s a good chance you’re rolling your eyes at the thought of reading another article about this). The truth is, there are talent-acquisition departments that talk about having a seat at the table; heck, they might even lobby so hard to get to this “table” they get a pity invite."

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: A Primer for the Modern Recruiter - Tips to Rethink your Role

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Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup: A Primer for the Modern Recruiter - Tips to Rethink your Role

This week's Talent and HR News Weekly Roundup features a primer for the modern recruiter and includes articles that cover tips to rethink your role as a recruiter. It's easy to fall into a pattern of doing things the way you always have. Face it, today's recruiting challenges are different from yesterday's challenges, and hopefully these tips will highlight some new approaches.

1) 5 Ways To Reinvent Your Recruiting Strategy from Forbes.com

"I’ve seen this happen before: even the very best in-your-face, cult-like workforce culture can’t survive a profits meltdown.  What drew employees to the thriving company – bragging rights, benefits, big salaries and big personalities – will push them away when the shine is off the company, salaries and benefits are frozen, and career advancement is slowed. And forget about trying to fill those empty seats when business picks up – news of a shaky workplace and broken culture travels fast."

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5 Ways to Save Money on Your Hiring Strategy Now

Ask your average corporate recruiter, and they’ll scoff at startups having trouble hiring great talent. But what they don’t realize is the numerous obstacles that face growing companies when it comes to hiring the best people. Startups are burdened by a lack of time to devote to the hiring process. And in many cities, they often have trouble finding highly skilled technical talent willing to take a risk and join a startup – even one with incredible potential.

Plus, it’s really hard to compete against big, local brands offering higher pay, fewer hours, and better benefits. And technical talent often prefer the flexibility of freelance roles where they can manage time, costs, and the type of projects they work on.

Startups often turn to headhunters in desperation. But there’s one problem: headhunters cost an arm and a leg. Specifically 15-30 percent+ of the new hire’s salary. For a developer, that can run more than $10,000 or more based on the level and the city. Plus they aren’t always looking out for the startup’s best interests. They want to make the placement and get the cash. They’re not incented to care about long-term fit or performance.

Instead of passing the buck and sucking up the contingency fees, there are cheaper and easier ways to find the talent you need:

1. Hire an Internal Recruiter or Two

If you’re going to hire at least two people in the next 12 months, it’s a worthwhile investment based on what you’ll spend for a headhunter. It takes the burden of managing the process off of the leadership team, and the recruiters can also begin to help you manage the team and growth.

2. Use Sourcing Tools and Searches

Forget expensive job boards. Use your current developers to use unique search strings and do some advanced online searching for candidates you wouldn’t find otherwise. For example, one of Facebook’s best engineers came from a small, no-name web shop in Maine who wouldn’t have been found locally.

Or, make a small investment in a tool like RemarkableHire that combs niche tech sites like StackOverflow and Dribbble to find actual evidence of performance and tech knowledge rather than the self-professed Hadoop expert you find on LinkedIn.

3. Get the Whole Team Involved

This isn’t an employee referral contest. Require team members to participate in the search for every new hire and offer up three candidates for each open position...Read More Over on TechCocktail.

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This post originally appeared on TechCocktail written by Susan LaMotte, the founder of exaqueo. A human resources consultancy, exaqueo helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Recruiting in the Relationship Economy

This post originally appeared on Talemetry's Blog Talemetry Today. Advertise job, receive resume, email candidate, process offer — our recruiting processes have become more transactional than ever. That’s not a bad thing! We have more tools than ever to source, track and manage candidate, and that technology has made life as a recruiter more productive and efficient.

But as technology has sped up the process, candidates are clamoring for attention. They want more interaction and engagement. They want to connect with the people behind the company. And companies are answering.

The best companies are paying close attention to how they can improve the candidate experience, by emphasizing relationships rather than transactions. There’s even an award devoted to recognizing those who deliver candidate experience exceptionally well: the CandEs.

It’s a new relationship economy. Are your recruiters ready?

In this new relationship economy, we’re relying on networking more than ever. We’ve evolved from tracking resumes to proactively sourcing candidates and researching how they behave and participate in networks.

We’re building talent communities that require actual engagement with candidates. We’re conducting video interviews and hosting live career chats, and that requires more interaction from brand ambassadors, hiring managers and recruiters.

eHarmony is even getting into the game, using their match technology in a job board: “Technology company seeks engineers for long walks on the beach.” Imagine what that email exchange might look like.

This is changing the role the recruiter plays. The opportunity to hide behind process is gone. No longer can recruiters simply follow a phone screen script or negotiate an offer by playing middleman with the hiring manager. It’s all about deep engagement.

Specifically, we’re talking about three key engagement levers: information, access and personalization.

A careers site or booth at a careers fair was once all you needed. Now candidates want more. They want more information about the job, the company’s vision, the products, the compensation, and their potential office space. They want every piece of information they can get to make a decision. And who can blame them? We’ve been groomed in business to believe that data drives good decisions.

Developments in technology means candidates can find out more easily who does what in your company, the careers they’ve had and the work they do. They want access to their future boss, team members and executives. They want to be able to talk to them directly, ask questions and understand their day-to-day work, politics and potential.

With information and access comes a feeling of me, me, me. Candidates only make a limited number of job changes in a lifetime. So their job search is a deeply personal, high-priority item and they’re demanding attention. And that attention comes in the way of personalization—make the job seeker feel like you’re catering to their individual needs and wants. Make them feel special.

All of this means recruiters need a new set of skills and behaviors to keep up.

First, they have to be the company librarian—they have to really know what’s happening. They have to be on top of company trends and innovations. They have to be the press secretary — speaking on behalf of their leaders and the company in a way they never have before.

Recruiters also have to be the best networkers in your company—internally. They have to be the connected beyond the coffee machine to all levels of professionals in the company at all locations. If a candidate has a specific question or wants to connect with a specific person in a remote function, the recruiter can’t be making an internal cold call. He has to already have the relationship–and the permission—to make the connection.

Finally, recruiters have to get better at unearthing detail about candidates beyond sourcing and profile review. They have to be able to pick up cues on a candidate’s interests, hobbies, or personal details from conversations and regularly use them to customize the experience. From onboarding and welcome gifts to recognizing special days and family needs, these individual touches matter to candidates. Imagine receiving a personalized offer package catered just to you, your family and your interests.

The technology is there to support this shift. Like marketers, recruiters can take advantage of data mining software to comb customer profiles, networks and reviews for social cues and ways to cater to individual needs. Applying this level of personal research to candidate data and employer brand will mean recruiters become anthropologists and psychologists—well beyond the skills they have now.

So what type of development are you providing?

The same conferences, sourcing seminars or process training? Or are you looking at the future and the skills your recruiters need now and 10 years from now.

exaqueo is a human resources consultancy that helps startups and high-growth companies build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a workforce that’s aligned with your company culture and develop an employer brand that will allow your business to grow in the right way.

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Tech Shoppers Beware: Don't Buy Candidates From This Guy

As I head to InfluenceHR in two weeks to talk with HR vendors about how to sell into the space, I'm continually amazed by the tactics people use. I'm not a career salesperson, but I have spent quite a bit of time in the buyer's seat, and now that I run a consulting firm, new business is constantly on my mind.  So I understand quarterly goals, year-end stress and pressure to make numbers. But I'll never understand why people think the mass contact strategy will work. Sales = relationships. But some recruiters still don't get it.

Recently, I got this InMail on LinkedIn:

Subject: quick question.... 

I am a Tech recruiter from [company redacted]. I am representing an especially gifted Lead Software Engineer with a Master’s, who recently moved here from the Silicon Valley. He currently works for innovative media titan [company redacted] and previously led teams while at [company redacted] and [company redacted], respectively. He is more than proficient in several languages, but specializes in custom mobile, web, and software application development as well as Amazon Web Service and API management. His high quality code has scaled and supported over 600K in Daily Active Users in the past but his objective in his next role moving forward is to introduce and evangelize the process of continuous technological integration. He will prove an immediate and tangible asset to any Tech environment. If you are looking to do any hiring these days, let me know and I can send you his resume right away. I promise I will not waste your time.

But here's the thing. You just did. I'm not a recruiter. I don't have any open tech positions. So the 30 seconds it took to read your InMail was a waste of my time.  And I certainly wouldn't connect with you or recommend you to anyone (and I know many recruiters in the space) given your approach. Now, I'm from Philadelphia. And I'm Italian. That means I'm brutally honest. I could have hit delete, but instead, I sent back the following response.

I appreciate you reaching out but mass messages don't work. Here's why: my company wouldn't be hiring someone like this or any tech professionals quite frankly. You do yourself and the profession a disservice by recruiting this way.

And his response?

I disagree but thank you for your feedback Susan.

I'd love to know why he disagrees but I'm not wasting any more of my time. Whether you're a recruiter, marketer, job seeker or you're selling tech software, this approach is flat out wrong. As a candidate, I don't want to be mass marketed. Do you?  And as a recruiter, I don't want my tech talent to come from a Costco-style approach. I want a boutique store that takes the time to cater to the right kind of shoppers--not one that's selling Chico's to 15-year old boys.

This recruiter is only 4.5 years out of college--and normally I wouldn't fault someone who is still learning. But his terse response shows me he's not looking to learn. And the firm he works for clearly isn't coaching him. That firm has been around since 1999. So that means some people are buying (and teaching) what he's selling.

So tech talent shoppers, buyer beware. Don't buy what this guy, and many others like him are selling. I won't throw him or his firm under the bus here, but I will tell anyone who contacts me individually not to work with this firm. Ever.

The recruiter that doesn't take the time to build meaningful and targeted relationships isn't going to look out for you. It's a sandwich board or apartment leasing sign-flipping strategy. And do you want to fill your skilled jobs this way?  I sure hope not.

 

 

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Tech Shoppers Beware: Don't Buy Candidates From This Guy

As I head to InfluenceHR in two weeks to talk with HR vendors about how to sell into the space, I'm continually amazed by the tactics people use. I'm not a career salesperson, but I have spent quite a bit of time in the buyer's seat, and now that I run a consulting firm, new business is constantly on my mind.  So I understand quarterly goals, year-end stress and pressure to make numbers. But I'll never understand why people think the mass contact strategy will work. Sales = relationships. But some recruiters still don't get it.

Recently, I got this InMail on LinkedIn:

Subject: quick question.... 

I am a Tech recruiter from [company redacted]. I am representing an especially gifted Lead Software Engineer with a Master’s, who recently moved here from the Silicon Valley. He currently works for innovative media titan [company redacted] and previously led teams while at [company redacted] and [company redacted], respectively. He is more than proficient in several languages, but specializes in custom mobile, web, and software application development as well as Amazon Web Service and API management. His high quality code has scaled and supported over 600K in Daily Active Users in the past but his objective in his next role moving forward is to introduce and evangelize the process of continuous technological integration. He will prove an immediate and tangible asset to any Tech environment. If you are looking to do any hiring these days, let me know and I can send you his resume right away. I promise I will not waste your time.

But here's the thing. You just did. I'm not a recruiter. I don't have any open tech positions. So the 30 seconds it took to read your InMail was a waste of my time.  And I certainly wouldn't connect with you or recommend you to anyone (and I know many recruiters in the space) given your approach. Now, I'm from Philadelphia. And I'm Italian. That means I'm brutally honest. I could have hit delete, but instead, I sent back the following response.

I appreciate you reaching out but mass messages don't work. Here's why: my company wouldn't be hiring someone like this or any tech professionals quite frankly. You do yourself and the profession a disservice by recruiting this way.

And his response?

I disagree but thank you for your feedback Susan.

I'd love to know why he disagrees but I'm not wasting any more of my time. Whether you're a recruiter, marketer, job seeker or you're selling tech software, this approach is flat out wrong. As a candidate, I don't want to be mass marketed. Do you?  And as a recruiter, I don't want my tech talent to come from a Costco-style approach. I want a boutique store that takes the time to cater to the right kind of shoppers--not one that's selling Chico's to 15-year old boys.

This recruiter is only 4.5 years out of college--and normally I wouldn't fault someone who is still learning. But his terse response shows me he's not looking to learn. And the firm he works for clearly isn't coaching him. That firm has been around since 1999. So that means some people are buying (and teaching) what he's selling.

So tech talent shoppers, buyer beware. Don't buy what this guy, and many others like him are selling. I won't throw him or his firm under the bus here, but I will tell anyone who contacts me individually not to work with this firm. Ever.

The recruiter that doesn't take the time to build meaningful and targeted relationships isn't going to look out for you. It's a sandwich board or apartment leasing sign-flipping strategy. And do you want to fill your skilled jobs this way?  I sure hope not.

 

 

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Tech Shoppers Beware: Don't Buy Candidates From This Guy

As I head to InfluenceHR in two weeks to talk with HR vendors about how to sell into the space, I'm continually amazed by the tactics people use. I'm not a career salesperson, but I have spent quite a bit of time in the buyer's seat, and now that I run a consulting firm, new business is constantly on my mind.  So I understand quarterly goals, year-end stress and pressure to make numbers. But I'll never understand why people think the mass contact strategy will work. Sales = relationships. But some recruiters still don't get it.

Recently, I got this InMail on LinkedIn:

Subject: quick question.... 

I am a Tech recruiter from [company redacted]. I am representing an especially gifted Lead Software Engineer with a Master’s, who recently moved here from the Silicon Valley. He currently works for innovative media titan [company redacted] and previously led teams while at [company redacted] and [company redacted], respectively. He is more than proficient in several languages, but specializes in custom mobile, web, and software application development as well as Amazon Web Service and API management. His high quality code has scaled and supported over 600K in Daily Active Users in the past but his objective in his next role moving forward is to introduce and evangelize the process of continuous technological integration. He will prove an immediate and tangible asset to any Tech environment. If you are looking to do any hiring these days, let me know and I can send you his resume right away. I promise I will not waste your time.

But here's the thing. You just did. I'm not a recruiter. I don't have any open tech positions. So the 30 seconds it took to read your InMail was a waste of my time.  And I certainly wouldn't connect with you or recommend you to anyone (and I know many recruiters in the space) given your approach. Now, I'm from Philadelphia. And I'm Italian. That means I'm brutally honest. I could have hit delete, but instead, I sent back the following response.

I appreciate you reaching out but mass messages don't work. Here's why: my company wouldn't be hiring someone like this or any tech professionals quite frankly. You do yourself and the profession a disservice by recruiting this way.

And his response?

I disagree but thank you for your feedback Susan.

I'd love to know why he disagrees but I'm not wasting any more of my time. Whether you're a recruiter, marketer, job seeker or you're selling tech software, this approach is flat out wrong. As a candidate, I don't want to be mass marketed. Do you?  And as a recruiter, I don't want my tech talent to come from a Costco-style approach. I want a boutique store that takes the time to cater to the right kind of shoppers--not one that's selling Chico's to 15-year old boys.

This recruiter is only 4.5 years out of college--and normally I wouldn't fault someone who is still learning. But his terse response shows me he's not looking to learn. And the firm he works for clearly isn't coaching him. That firm has been around since 1999. So that means some people are buying (and teaching) what he's selling.

So tech talent shoppers, buyer beware. Don't buy what this guy, and many others like him are selling. I won't throw him or his firm under the bus here, but I will tell anyone who contacts me individually not to work with this firm. Ever.

The recruiter that doesn't take the time to build meaningful and targeted relationships isn't going to look out for you. It's a sandwich board or apartment leasing sign-flipping strategy. And do you want to fill your skilled jobs this way?  I sure hope not.

 

 

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Job Search Advice You Can't Miss From Twitter + NPR

It's that time of the year--THE busiest time for job searching. If you're a job seeker, this is your Super Bowl, your Miss America, your World Cup. And just in time for your big, mecca moment, NPR and Twitter have pulled together a team of experts (including me!) to help you with your search. In addition to recruiters and hiring managers from both companies, I'll be joining the panel along with career and job search experts including Craig Fisher, Alexandra Levit, Curtis Midkiff and Laurie Ruettimann. We'll all be answering YOUR questions about job searching and sharing our tips.

How's this working?

The chat will be one hour, co-moderated by the @NPRjobs account and Twitter’s @JoinTheFlock.

How can I ask a question?

Submit your questions (starting NOW!) anytime before Friday, January 25 using the #NPRTwitterChat hashtag. We'll tackle as many as we can.

Can anyone join?

Yep. And you can help us promote it too. Try this tweet: "Career advice from Twitter, NPR, @SusanLaMotte @lruettimann @fishdogs @levit @SHRMSMG: 1/31, 5-6p ET, Ask ?s now: #NPRTwitterChat."

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Tips For Job Seekers: What Recruiters Don't Want You To Know

As a talent strategy consultant and career coach, I tell clients all the time: "I get the other side of the equation."  Companies like that I am coaching job seekers, and job seekers like that I consult with talent acquisition teams at companies. Having a foot in both worlds means I don't forget what it's like on both sides of the aisle. It's like recruiting bipartisanship. But every once in awhile, I take sides. And job seekers, this is for you.There are a million nuances to being a recruiter--like many jobs, to an outsider it may seem straightforward. But there are multiple stakeholders, laws and budgets vying for attention that make it really difficult sometimes. And the more you know and understand, the more effective you'lll be. Recruiters may not want you to know their secrets but here are five tips to help you get both feet in the door and the attention of a recruiter.  You'll thank me now. They'll thank me later. 1) An important part of the job is inside sales

Like any job, recruiters are measured, evaluated and lauded (or not) based on how well they perform. But it's often with strange (to you) metrics like time to fill, or percentage of job postings (called requisitions) that have closed. More rarely are they measured on quality of hire (i.e., how well you're performing a year after you're hired.) This means recruiters are biased towards selling candidates to the hiring manager. Hard. They want that job to close fast. So make it easy on them to sell you.

Bottom line: Don't assume they'll figure out your skills are transferable. Apply for jobs where you're clearly a fit and supplement any networking, cover letters, and phone screens with clear examples they can turn around and use. One time a candidate had a unique technical skill so he called to explain it and tell me why it mattered in our business. I loved that.

2) Weird behavior makes recruiters nervous

Being on the phone all day can make a recruiter crazy. That means in between interviews, sourcing calls and offer deliveries, they're sharing tales of insanity--odd calls, strange answers to interview questions, and tales of incredulity (such as: "Why did this guy apply to three different jobs? Does he not know I can see all of them?")  There's nothing wrong with getting a recruiter's attention, but if you cross a line, they're just going to ignore you. It's JUST like dating. Say "I love you" too soon, call too many times in a row, or try too hard and you're out.

Bottom line: Make an effort to get noticed but don't border on pathetic. Follow-up and check on your candidacy but don't call every day or start sending LinkedIn invitations to the entire team. If it feels strange don't do it. Making the recruiter nervous is a reason for them to focus on someone else. I once had a candidate email me every day. Stalker--you're out.

3) Sometimes it's a crapshoot

A recruiter typically has a collection of requisitions she is responsible for. In most companies, it's usually an unmanageable number (at least to the recruiter). So in the morning, she may come in and open her ATS (applicant tracking system) and start looking at what resumes came in for what position (requisition) overnight. She's human, so while scanning resumes, she might be distracted by her boss popping by, a tweet or a phone call. That means some resumes get the six-second glance, some get 30. There's no guarantee of fairness--it's absolutely impossible.  And if she already has enough candidates interviewing, she might barely glance, if at all, at new resumes.

Bottom line: Sometimes it's a crapshoot. You might feel like you're a perfect fit for the job, but the timing of when you apply or simply how busy the recruiter is that day could determine your fate. That's where networking comes in. Never apply for a job cold. Make a connection in the organization first that can check up on your candidacy with the recruiter. Depending on where she is in the process you might not get a fair shake, but at least you'll be in the know. As a recruiter, I could ignore resumes in my ATS queue but I couldn't ignore a colleague at my door asking about a referral.

4) They influence but rarely, if ever, decide...

A hiring decision usually comes from the hiring manager. It may even have to be approved by his boss. But the recruiter doesn't decide. She will contribute to the discussion and provide opinions on interactions with candidates. She'll provide context like salary ranges, or market analyses, But she won't decide.

Bottom line: Don't rely on the recruiter throughout the entire process. Figure out who else is important in the decision-making process and build relationships. Send follow-up emails that show you did your research and take them up on the offer to ask additional questions. Just don't go overboard. Weird behavior makes hiring managers nervous too. (See #2).

5) ...but they have a tremendous amount of insider information.

Recruiters know what the hiring managers are like, what matters most to them and what interview strategies succeed. So don't ignore them. It's really important to have the recruiter on your side. You want to make their job easier and set them up for success. In turn, the recruiter can share that valuable insider information if you just ask: "As I prepare for the interview later this week, any suggestions you have on what matters to the hiring manager are greatly appreciated--I really value your advice." The worst they can say is no.

Bottom line: A strong relationship with the recruiter is part of the equation. Recognize that she's busy and may have a million priorities (while the job you want is your only one right now). Respect her time and help her help you. In return, she may be able to help you prepare, understand and strengthen your candidacy over others who don't even bother to ask or care. As a recruiter I often felt under-appreciated. Thanks from a candidate and recognition that I played an important role in the process went a long way.

 

 

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QUIPS #1: Candidate Experience

Speaking and consulting with HR professionals, I often hear how hard it is to take best practices and actually implement them. The grand solutions shared at conferences and in whitepapers often come from companies with big staffs, big budgets and a supportive and forward-thinking HR team.  What if that's not you? What if you're working exceptionally hard but starting from scratch? Maybe your company doesn't have the money or the time and energy to focus on solving a problem in a big way.  Today, Exaqueo introduces QUIPS: QUIck Problem Solving. These are quick ways to begin to address and solve common talent challenges.  First up? Candidate experience. You know you need to fix your candidate experience. But you don't have time to do a complete audit. You don't have money for new technologies and quite frankly, you don't know where to start.

QUIPS: At its core, candidate experience is all about communication. Think about your worst customer service experiences. They are ones where you don't know what's going on and have to try again and again to get an answer or have your problem solved. But when you get an honest call or email that updates you on the problem, or the status of the problem, even if it takes some time to solve you appreciate the communication. Apply THIS to your candidate experience. Here are four quick things you can do to begin to address candidate experience now.

1) Communicate the process at the start: Tell candidates if they will hear back, how they will hear back and when to expect some sort of communication. Be honest about length of time. And give them a way to check in if possible. Share this information clearly, plainly and boldly in every job description or in an exceptionally prominent place on your site.

2) Be upfront with candidates: Let them know you're busy/short-staffed/someone's on vacation. Candidates won't mind as much if it takes longer to hear if at least they know what's going on. Require recruiters to have standard (and detailed) out-of-office replies and voicemail greetings.

3) Align recruiter responses: Ask each recruiter on your team how, if and when they respond to candidates. You'll likely find some gaping differences--fix those and have some baseline requirements to help reinforce your reputation--that's the foundation of your brand.

4) Make a small investment: Hire one person, even part-time if that's all you can afford, to help manage the queue. Depending on the complexity of your organization, they can serve as the triage nurse--handling immediate questions about application status or interview scheduling changes and referring the candidate where the need is more complex like offer negotiations.

It's a start. None of these will address the experience completely. But they will help with baseline challenge of communication. And when you have the time/money/focus/energy, you can use these resources to dive in further.

Resources:

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